cool things with wheels, since 2006
When I first saw the photo, I thought the pattern was just for looks. But the last item in the Specifications section - Mobility systems - says the tread "pattern is used by on-board cameras to judge the distance traveled."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_rover#Specifications
As a geek and the holder of a ham radio license (gotten back when you HAD to know Morse code), I can say that this is just too cool. Nice Easter egg for the geeks. Little known trivia...at the headquarters of the Texas Instruments company in Dallas, there is a tall radio tower. At the top is the flashing red beacon required by the FAA for towers over 200 feet tall. If you ever see it, watch the flashing pattern. It flashes "TI" in Morse code (one long flash, two short ones).